What’s Dave Reading Now?

For those who actually care about the answer to that question,  I’m discussing three fan fictions I’ve read recently,  and including an update on those in progress works I’ve mentioned here before. I often just pick through story descriptions at FanFiction.net.   I like a variety of different things.   The three I’ll mention today are all fairly well developed AUs;  that is they diverge from the show’s canon in significant details,  yet they offer well thought out stories.   I’m sure it will shock no one that I gravitate towards stories that have Chuck and Sarah together,  that’s always how I imagine things ought to be.   That doesn’t mean I always go for romances per se,  but I do expect some romantic element with a mostly happy ending   (yes,  I’m shallow and proud of it!)

In the past,  I’ve focused on individual authors.  But I think this time I’m going to look at specific stories.   These can all be found at FanFiction.net (link is on the right sidebar),  and located via the site search function by either title or author.

Just today I finished “The Inevitable Life of Charles Bartowski” by jomarch05.   This is a complete AU (alternate universe – complete in that it starts at a completely different spot that the show) that features a professor Chuck Bartowski who was never kicked out of Stanford,  the human intersect Bryce Larkin,  and his partner Sarah Walker.   This Chuck is just as unfulfilled as the one we first met on the show,  and it seems inevitable that the Intersect and Sarah Walker will always be a part of his life.   jomarch05 writes action well,  and uses themes of honor and sacrifice in this story.   Its the sort of story that could be fun to anyone,  but is a particular blast to see his different take an characters we all know so well.   Its a fairly long story so allow 3+ hours to really enjoy it.

I also recently read “Aftermath” by Armadilloi.   This includes a note it “will be deleted by 2/28.”   Since this is June I’m not really sure what that means,  but I suppose it could disappear at any time.   Which would be a shame,  it is a lot of fun.   This AU starts sometime mid S2 with Chuck getting a simple text from Sarah telling him to forget her,  she’s leaving to work with Bryce.   Sounds bleak,  but remember my qualifier above,  I would have never liked this story if it didn’t improve eventually.   Armadilloi uses more graphic violence than many writers,  and his portrayal of both Chuck and Sarah is a little different;  this Chuck takes charge of his life pretty decisively and becomes an agent with out the use of a 2.0;   and Chuck and Sarah’s dialogue doesn’t quite ring true.   But this is another story where the action and central plot are excellent.   There are some shocking character deaths early in this story,  but it makes Chuck’s later SOP that “agents lives are not expendable” that much more poignant.   This story can be read in less than 2 hours.

The final story I wanted to mention is one that’s been brought up in the discussion of every post I’ve done on fan fiction,  so it deserves some discussion here.   Its “Chuck vs. the Missing Years” by Malamoo.   Malamoo writes more pure romance,  and she loves to crank up the angst.   But her use of triangles is far more cautious than the show writers’  and she eventually gets around to a pretty happy ending.  “Missing Years” is her first Chuck story,  and I consider it brilliant.   She wrote this sometime early 2009,  so although it is set in 2012,  she is straying from canon on many things we learned after the mid-point of S2.   She starts with Chuck awakening in a hospital with no memories since his 26th birthday.   Well,  we can all guess what’s important about that date.  But in spite of a cliche set-up,  the story unfolds in a fun and ultimately sweet manner.   Chuck learns interesting things as an observer of his own life.  Its fun to see Chuck as intelligent and resourceful without an intersect.   And let’s just say certain forces in Chuck’s life are irresistible.   Malamoo has written several later stories based on this piece,  including both prequels and sequels that fill in much fascinating detail.   So if you find this introduction sweet and compelling,  you might want to find out how it came to this….  and what happened next.   Allow about 2 hours to read Chuck vs. the Missing Years.

In the past I’ve talked about Billatwork’s writing.   He is currently finishing up “Chuck vs. the Dark Intersect”  (three chapters remain to be published).   It is a fun story in a massive AU covering 5 stories breaking from canon after 2.11 and the Mauser shooting.   Ninjavanish continues his complete rewrite of S3 in “Chuck and Sarah vs. Themselves” .  And our own bdaddydl has now posted 3 chapters of his “Sarah vs. the Death of Charles Bartowski.”

There is so much fan fiction out there,  it isn’t hard to find new Chuck stories to keep busy until September!

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About atcDave

I'm 54 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 31 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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20 Responses to What’s Dave Reading Now?

  1. Crumby says:

    I’ve only read Malamoo’s “Missing Years” so far but that piece is great. The whole series with “Long Days and Nights”, “Then and Now” and the following “Then and Now”-like little stories is Awesome. There is not that much action in it but I really liked how she describes feelings and state of minds.

    I was looking for new stories to read so I’ll give a shot to “The Inevitable Life of Charles Bartowski” & “Aftermath”. Thanks for sharing Dave!

    • atcdave says:

      I’m just glad the hours I’ve …um… “invested” can be of use! Yeah, Malamoo’s whole “Missing Years” arc is an impressive accomplishment. “Long Days and Nights” has fairly complex structure that makes it a harder read, but overall the whole thing is well developed and satisfying. Missing Years itself really stands out to me as a great achievement for a young writer (college student I believe).

      I’m thinking I may do this every couple weeks during our off season; that is, mention a few good stories I’ve found. I hope you (and everyone) enjoys some of them!

  2. BDaddyDL says:

    today i reread a story called Witness Protection. Its breaks away from cannon after season 2. When I read the story the first time I rushed it. It has a really good story. The last chapter before the prologue is realy good. The writer has you play a song in the backgorun, if you do it really enhances the story.

    I orginally rushed through the story because I had just finished reading a story from Armadilloi.
    With 1 exception all of his stories have ended with Chuck and Sarah, To paraphrase something dave said in an earlier post Armadilloi wields angst with a gatling gun. To his credit he writes great stories.

    If you want to laugh there is a quick 1 Chapter story called in retrospect by Afficted. It is really funny. He captures Casey in a way that I hope the show runners use. It sounds like Casey, oh ya just gotta read it.

    There is a stigma to fan fiction, I do not know why. I know that the show beats almost all fan fiction. Thats a good thing, just remember though a lot of the fiction is written by people who think just like you, and were just as mad about the season 3.

    One bit of warning an M rating is very M. If you get offended or object to raunchy writing, avoid this rating.

  3. aardvark7734 says:

    Good update Dave. I think it’s quite reasonable to do a fan fiction update post every couple of weeks. I mean, it’s not like there’s going to be that much to compete with during the hiatus, right?

    ‘Missing Years’ is how I discovered Malamoo in the first place. I was blown away by her natural dialogue and ability to exploit poignant situations. She’ll put a dagger slowly into your heart, but you’ll let her do it because it feels so good going in. 😉

    I haven’t read jomarch05’s work, I’m not sure why. I’ll go check it out.

    Armadilloi must be an acquired taste. (cough)

    A quick note, some of you might not know it, but the “Awesome Awards” for “Chuck” fic has reached the first round of voting here:

    http://forum.fanfiction.net/topic/49974/27056159/1/

    Let these authors know that you appreciate them!

    • atcdave says:

      Yeah, as I said about Armadillio’s work; he’s good at action, but his dialogue seems sort of OOC to me. I still enjoy his stories, just have to get past the crude language and dialogue.

  4. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    Dave, have you ever considered writing one of your own? I’d be interested in reading it actually…and I’m not a ff reader…

    • joe says:

      How about you too, Faith? You’re a great writer. I’ll bet there’s something you haven’t seen happen in the canon that you just have to see anyway… 😉

    • atcdave says:

      There’s kind of the whole need for imagination thing! Honestly, I can outline a story, but I get lost in the details. For now, it just isn’t going to happen.

      • BDaddyDL says:

        I have to admit writing the story was sooo much fun. The feedback I have gotten is great. I cant imagine what the authors like frea or the armor plated rat gets.

        It is also a good way to put the thoughts of what you would do with the story, for everyone to see.

      • atcdave says:

        As much as I love reading them, I’m glad you and other writers find it satisfying!

  5. OldDarth says:

    Chuck fans should read anything by Frea O’Scanlin:

    http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5910481/1/To_Resist_Both_Wind_and_Tide

    http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5841844/1/The_Wingman

    http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6043678/1/Truth_Lies_and_the_CIA

    Her Magnum Opus:

    http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5756619/1/What_Fates_Impose

    She does it all – character, comedy, tone – light and dark, action, and subtext all in a seamless manner.

    Ed: Sorry this got put in the “pending” bin, OD. WordPress still counts links in posts, and is quick to shrug its shoulders and say “huh?” when it gets past 2. – joe

    • Crumby says:

      “Fates” and “Wind” are definitely amazing!

    • aardvark7734 says:

      Frea seems to have really wide appeal, judging by the differing tastes of the authors who nominated her for awards.

      Heck, the fact that both you and I think she’s the bees knees tells you something right there. 😉

      • OldDarth says:

        It does indeed. 😀

        Frea is amazing. She should easily be doing her own original work.

        It IS a testament to her skill that she can appeal to fans with differing tastes. All those tastes are equally valid BTW. I realize I have left impressions otherwise and apologize for doing so. Sometimes my passion gets the better of me.

        Back to Frea – no blatant lying and no use of the ‘stupid stick’ to drive the story are what makes her writing so appealing.

        If the show treated the characters with the respect that Frea does it is a safe bet the criticisms would be far fewer.

  6. Crumby says:

    Dave I just finished “The Inevitable Life of Charles Bartowski”, and I loved it! Thanks again for sharing!

  7. Lola says:

    Hey Dave,

    Thanks for sharing these stories with us! I will surely be reading them, and they sound very interesting!

    But, I’ll have to take a little detour untill, well… july 11th at least – depending on the outcome! – Worldcup is going on for the next 30 days!!! And i intend to watch EVERY match if a can acomplish it :O).

    So, Guys, I think i’m not going to show up very often till then.
    hey! don’t hold it againt me, im from Argentina… BIG futbol – Football, soccer, whatever- Country!
    Peace!

  8. JC says:

    I finally took the plunge and started reading. I found two stories I really liked.

    Sarah vs The Alternate Universe

    The title speaks for itself, Sarah is a regular girl and gets the Intersect and Chuck is the agent.

    http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5053957/1/bSarah_b_bvs_b_The_bAlternate_b_bUniverse_b

    Chuck vs The Double Agent

    I won’t spoil it, but its a What If style story. Its dark and characters are different but feel the same, if that makes sense. Some really great writing IMO.

  9. BDaddyDL says:

    I have completed the last chapter in my story. I want to thank Dave and Joe with all of their help.

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